My earliest memory of psychology was when Rhonda Byrne introduced me to The Secret, which posited self-help advocacy through the concept of the law of attraction. The law argued that whatever you experienced in life was a direct consequence of your thoughts.
“When you want to attract something into your life, make sure your actions don’t contradict your desires. Think about what you have asked for and make sure that your actions are mirroring what you expect to receive and that they’re not contradicting what you‘ve asked for. Act as if you are receiving it. Do exactly what you would do if you were receiving it today, and take actions in your life to reflect that powerful expectation. Make room to receive your desires, and as you do, you are sending out that powerful signal of expectation.”Rhonda Byrne, The Secret
Yes, if you think about bills, you will get more bills. If you think about million-rand cheques, your mailbox will overflow with them. A strange yet enchanting philosophy.
Granted, however, the flowery philosophy lost its spark until I came across Dr Joseph Murphy’s The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, a self-help book for those who struggle to put their thoughts into action. I was able to streamline an approach to the primary premise of the law of attraction on a more practical level.
“As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.”Dr Joseph Murphy, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind
While I may be at the prologue of my success story as a writer, I credit how I realistically practised crucial elements from these self-help books to launch my career. On the abstract level, I needed to adopt the mindset of manifestation: practising vision board concepts, positive affirmations, journaling, and prayer tricks that self-help gurus and astrologers advocated for.
On a practical level, I had to become more realistic about how I could turn prayer into intention and plans of action by scaling my ideas into attainable short-term goals. Yes, I had to reframe and brand the positions I desired to play in the entertainment industry.
Was it overnight? No! There were endless hours of research. Once I learned how technological algorithms predicted your behaviour to curate experiences that kept you on YouTube and social media for hours, I transformed my online life. I established a network and research centre operating under a new belief: “I can make money online.” I just needed to figure out how.
As the pandemic caused unprecedented problems, the entertainment industry developed a demand for creative problem-solving. In a sense, adverse circumstances provided opportunities for those who not only championed optimism but put it to real-life use by transmuting positive thoughts into actionable plans.
My aunt still lectures me using James 2:14-26, emphasising the quote: “Faith without works is dead.” My secular pride will not stop me from agreeing with her.
It is not only about positive thoughts, dear readers. It is about good intentions, practical plans, and well-executed actions.
Happy Positive Thinking Day.